Is it possible to 3d print roller skate wheels?
I love designing roller skate wheels. I always draw a lot of inspiration for my wheel designs from the car culture. Each year, I love seeing all the new car concepts at SEMA and also the new car concepts at the various motor shows around the world. At one of these car shows, I saw a 3d printed car wheel that looked insane and I thought it would be a cool project to try to create a 3d printed roller skate wheel.
3D printed roller skate wheel concept
I started with our Royal Assassin wheel design and then modified the spokes. I wanted a design that could not come out of a mold, a roller skate wheel that could only be made by 3d printing. The concept looked like this below.
Various colors of the 3d printed roller skate wheel
One of the first issues that were flagged by the 3d printer was the spoke thickness was a little on the thin side. Making it any thicker would ruin the design so I ran some stress tested and decided that it was thick enough for a sample and proceeded to the next step which is choosing a material. When 3d printing, there are a lot of material choices and the price for this part could range from $40 per hub to $1000 per hub using exotic metals. I settled on a plastic called Polyamide 12 which allows us to use various colors with a decent finish on the surface of the material. The first prototype hub arrived and it looked like this below.
1st prototype 3d printed roller skate wheel
I think it looks amazing. I am really happy with how it looks. The black color is probably not the best as it doesn’t reflect the light in a way that you can see the intricacy of the design so for the production run I will use some brighter colors. I ordered the production hubs to create a skateable set of roller skate wheels. They have arrived and they look like this below.
Blue and Red 3d printed roller skate wheels
I have shipped the hubs to Scott Corey who will pour the urethane for me. I will update you on the results here when we get them back.
About the author:
Alexander Bont has been skating since the age of two years old. He was part of the Australian national short track team for 7 years. He has also competed on quad roller skates, long track ice skates, and inline speed skates. Alexander has won a number of Australian national titles including national records in short track and state titles in inline speed skating. He is the owner and CEO of Bont Skates and has a passion for skate design.